Chances are that if you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’ve heard a Blue microphone. The studio-quality mics bridged the gap between professional and consumer-grade technologies, introducing high-end components to a device that could be connected using a standard USB cable.
With the pod-market cornered, Blue has started to expand into the rest of the studio, with a new range of headphones that straddle that same professional-consumer gap.
The Ellas are an all-metal pair of planar magnetic headphones. They come in an alluring shade of RoboCop grey and resemble something Sigourney Weaver would use to fight an angry alien.
A powerful 250mW amp powers the speakers, which produce exactly the kind of audio you’d expect after dropping £675 on a pair of headphones: crisp fidelity, low distortion, and smoothed out, enriched-clarity bass. The built-in battery will beef up the audio output from your phone for around 12 hours.
Blue is a boutique audio brand, unburdened by the adventure-averse heritage of most other audio companies. The science-fiction styling splits opinion, but the devotion to experimentation at this high-level is to be commended.
Unique as they are, the Ellas aren’t best suited to everyday use. For commuters, the lack of noise cancellation places them behind headphones that cost a fraction of the price. At half a kilo they’re monstrously heavy too, and prone to fly off your head and cause a very expensive accident if you decide to break into a run while out and about.
Blue’s sidestep into high-end, consumer-grade headphones won’t be as smooth as its effortless takeover of mics. The quality of its cheaper rivals is too high, and the Ellas, while difficult to fault, do little to justify their pro-sized pricetag.